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'Don't ask' survey: Majority OK serving with openly gay troops, sources say

By Ed O'Keefe

A Defense Department survey of military service members finds that a majority of them would not object to serving alongside openly gay troops, according to multiple people familiar with the findings.

The survey's results are expected to be included in a Pentagon report due to President Obama on Dec. 1 regarding how the military would end enforcement of the "don't ask, don't tell" law and policy that bans openly gay men and lesbians from serving in uniform.

NBC News first reported the details Thursday evening.

Some troops surveyed -- but not a majority -- objected strongly to serving with gays and lesbians and said they would quit if the policy changed, said the sources, who requested anonymity because they were not authorized to publicly share details of the survey.

Defense Department officials did not return requests for comment.

The Pentagon in July sent a survey with dozens of questions to 400,000 active-duty and reserve troops. It asked whether they had ever shared a room or the showers with homosexual peers, and how they might act if a gay service member lived with a same-sex partner on base.

Military officials did not say how many troops completed the survey, but at least 103,000 had done so just days before it was due, according to the Pentagon. A similar survey was later sent to military spouses.

President Obama opposes "don't ask, don't tell" and met briefly on Tuesday with gay rights activists to convey his personal commitment to repealing the ban this year through legislation.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit is expected to rule Friday on whether the military can continue enforcing the ban while it considers a legal challenge against it.

Leave your thoughts in the comments section below

By Ed O'Keefe  | October 28, 2010; 9:16 PM ET
Categories:  Military  
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Comments

Those survey respondents who mentioned that they would leave the service should be identified and removed from service IMMEDIATELY. DontAskDontTell should be retooled intoDoAskDoTell in order to find and root out all service members who are bigoted or prejudiced in any way. The addition of intelligent, hardworking and patriotic gay service members would much more than make up for the loss of any bigots who would choose to leave or be directed to leave military service.

Posted by: BelmontBayNeighbor | October 28, 2010 10:41 PM | Report abuse

Maybe that's because people in the military -- unlike the US public at large -- actually know that all of our allies allow gays to serve openly, and it is simply not a problem for those countries.

Seriously, if the Israeli military has no problem with gays, it's not a problem.

Posted by: vfr2dca | October 28, 2010 11:17 PM | Report abuse

This country needs to grow up. When you go into the arena of death as any war is why can we not see the humanity of those who volunteer to serve? I really do think that American homophobia is based on the opinons of those who have doubts about their own sexuality. Grow up stop the Bible thumping and let gay Americans serve along side straight Americans in the usual follies we call Wars.

Posted by: fabricmaven1 | October 28, 2010 11:41 PM | Report abuse

The people who have never served in the military are the ones who seem to have the most to say. I have served beside gay men and have had no doubt about whose side they were on. My life was saved by a couple of them in Iraq. So, please, do gooders, stay out of the arguement since you do not really understand it. Else, volunteer and join us in harm's way.
Stop trying to politicise us into your unthoughtful disgrace of those who have served.

Posted by: gone2dabeachgmailcom | October 29, 2010 5:26 AM | Report abuse

In the U.K. army in 1948 we had a gay man in our barrack-room. At that time homosexual behaviour, even in private, was highly illegal and punishable. But he didn't worry us, we didn't worry him. All this argument only means more money for the lawyers. Where would we be without artists, musicians, writers etc in the rest of society? And soldiers and sailors!

Posted by: bstephens1 | October 29, 2010 7:56 AM | Report abuse

If DADT is repealed, it does not insure that gay soldiers will confess their orientation, even in civilian life very few will expose themselves for fear of a negative feedback. Since the acceptance of Homosexuals in the IDF the awareness of gay soldiers has not increased. As long as Homosexuality is disapproved of by the general public a person with a gay orientation will keep it private.

Posted by: morristhewise | October 29, 2010 8:05 AM | Report abuse

During my experience as an Army officer, the problem was not discrete gays who didn't bother anyone else but rather macho Rambo types who started trouble with suspected gays to cover up their doubts about their own sexuality. The rest of the troops just left the gays alone and worked along side them with no problems. Flaming gays who bothered others were processed out.

Teabaggers, most of whom never served and have no idea what they are talking about, use DADT as another tired old Rovian wedge issue in hopes of perpetuating their own private Glenn Beck Christian Jesuslandia.

Posted by: areyousaying | October 29, 2010 8:47 AM | Report abuse

During my experience as an Army officer, the problem was not discrete gays who didn't bother anyone else but rather macho Rambo types who started trouble with suspected gays to cover up their doubts about their own sexuality. The rest of the troops just left the gays alone and worked along side them with no problems. Flaming gays who bothered others were processed out.

Teabaggers, most of whom never served and have no idea what they are talking about, use DADT as another tired old Rovian wedge issue in hopes of perpetuating their own private Glenn Beck Christian Jesuslandia.

Posted by: areyousaying | October 29, 2010 8:50 AM | Report abuse


75% of people are gay because of genetics. The other 25% were sucked into it.

Posted by: nuke41 | October 29, 2010 9:04 AM | Report abuse

Only slightly over 25% of the 400,000 service members surveyed responded. A logical interpretation would be that only those who strongly objected to open service or those who actually cared about the issue responded at all. Goes to show you that our present military is professional and accepting of anyone who can accomplish the mission, regardless of sexual orientation. It is time that the Senate gets with the program and passes the National Defense Authorization Act with repeal of DADT as part of this important bill.

Posted by: CaptUSMC | October 29, 2010 9:08 AM | Report abuse

It would be nice to know how many surveyed would object to serving with women, whites, blacks, hispanic, Asian-Pacific, Muslims, Jews, Catholics, Hindu, etc, etc. There are bigoted and closed minded people in the armed forces and all over America. I say repeal DADT and let the chips fall, anyone who can't comply can quit and anyone who stays will serve their country as they should. Onc Nation-Indivisible with liberty and justice FOR ALL!!

Posted by: kirk2trek | October 29, 2010 9:10 AM | Report abuse

enough of the homosexual BS. who cares? this is a volunteer service. when and if accepted for duty people are committed to all rules and regulations in effect.break them and take the punishment without whining.homos/hetros get on with ur duty and forget the social engineering crap

Posted by: pofinpa | October 29, 2010 9:32 AM | Report abuse

Cross dressing drill sergeants? I'll be betting on the Taliban!

Posted by: twharvey1 | October 29, 2010 9:37 AM | Report abuse

this is not going to work on a navy ship the crew quarters on too confined.there will be trouble.

Posted by: SISSD1 | October 29, 2010 10:36 AM | Report abuse

I'm pretty sure this issue is way overblown.

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Posted by: itkonlyyou341 | October 29, 2010 10:47 AM | Report abuse

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Posted by: itkonlyyou341 | October 29, 2010 10:51 AM | Report abuse

Survey?...we don't need "no stinkin' survey!" Alfonsoa Bedoya...Treasure...Can you imagine during WWII if there was a survey conducted as to whether blacks, Italians, Germans (all citizens), Asians should serve? In the military there is Rule No. 1: Do as you are ordered to do. Rule No. 2: See Rule No. 1. Let's have another survey: Should be invade Iwo Jima tomorrow or wait until after Christmas. It is idiotic to have a survey. Roger

Posted by: annerogerduncan | October 29, 2010 11:01 AM | Report abuse

Survey?...we don't need "no stinkin' survey!" Alfonsoa Bedoya...Treasure...Can you imagine during WWII if there was a survey conducted as to whether blacks, Italians, Germans (all citizens), Asians should serve? In the military there is Rule No. 1: Do as you are ordered to do. Rule No. 2: See Rule No. 1. Let's have another survey: Should be invade Iwo Jima tomorrow or wait until after Christmas. It is idiotic to have a survey. Roger

Posted by: annerogerduncan | October 29, 2010 11:02 AM | Report abuse

Once again, the average US soldier and sailor prove to have significantly harder heads than many of their so-called leaders.

Posted by: jbowler | October 29, 2010 7:24 PM | Report abuse

"this is not going to work on a navy ship the crew quarters on too confined.there will be trouble"

Somehow, I managed to survive 10 years in the Navy, 7 1/2 of them at sea with no trouble.

Posted by: jbowler | October 29, 2010 7:30 PM | Report abuse

Scenario: You are part of a Field Ops team that has just decimated your enemy. But you sustained a bad wound. The field medic says you will die before the chopper comes to get your team unless you get a blood transfusion. The only team member with the same blood type as you is an openly gay man who brags about how many different guys he slept with on your last R&R. Oh yeah. One other little thing. The FDA says: "Men who have had sex with other men, at any time since 1977 (the beginning of the AIDS epidemic in the United States) are currently deferred as blood donors. This is because MSM are, as a group, at increased risk for HIV, hepatitis B and certain other infections that can be transmitted by transfusion."
(http://bit.ly/abDtlk)
My example may be a little extreme, but the fact is that men who fit into the category defined by the FDA cannot donate blood to save lives. For those of you who have never been in the military, the job can be a little dangerous and you can be asked to donate blood at any time. Unless you fit in that FDA category.

Posted by: robtjonz | October 30, 2010 10:44 AM | Report abuse

A majority of people in Alabama oppose abortion. Does that mean there will be no abortions in Alabama?

A majority of people in Georgia believe prayer in public school would be okay. Does that mean there will be prayer in public school in Georgia?

A majority of people may think it's okay for soldiers to bunk, bathe, and dress in the same areas as gay and lesbian soldiers. But heterosexual men and women still have rights, as much as it angers and frustrates others who want an end to DADT. We cannot deprive others of personal rights by a majority vote.

I believe gays and lesbians should be permitted to serve openly, but the military must provide each recruit and soldier with his own or her own private sleeping, bathing, and dressing area. The days of billeting soldiers on the cheap are ending.

Posted by: blasmaic | October 30, 2010 5:22 PM | Report abuse

I believe gays and lesbians should be permitted to serve openly, but the military must provide each recruit and soldier with his own or her own private sleeping, bathing, and dressing area. The days of billeting soldiers on the cheap are ending.

My understanding is that it is currently the military's goal (DADT or no DADT) to provide individual accomodations - at least a permanent bases - although not necessarily in the field or on temporary assignments.

Be that as it may, do you suppose that it is even possible (at any price) to provide everyone on (for example) a Navy ship with their own private berthing, etc?

Posted by: jbowler | October 30, 2010 5:33 PM | Report abuse

Scenario: You are part of a Field Ops team that has just decimated your enemy. But you sustained a bad wound. The field medic says you will die before the chopper comes to get your team unless you get a blood transfusion. The only team member with the same blood type as you is an openly gay man who brags about how many different guys he slept with on your last R&R. Oh yeah.

Scenario II: the same as robtjonz postulated above; except that because of DADT the other team member has remained closeted and no one has any idea he's gay, but otherwise the same; he is the ONLY one with the same blood type?

Posted by: jbowler | October 30, 2010 5:56 PM | Report abuse

From robtjonz scenario, we can postulate that as there is only one other person in the unit with the same blood type, that the injured soldier has fairly unusual blood type. In fact, for a person with a sufficiently uncommon blood type, it would common even perhaps usual that there would be NO other person in the unit with it. Do you suppose that we should prohibit persons with rare blood types from the Military?

Posted by: jbowler | October 30, 2010 6:03 PM | Report abuse

"Be that as it may, do you suppose that it is even possible (at any price) to provide everyone on (for example) a Navy ship with their own private berthing, etc?"

That's a problem for congress and the pentagon to sort out. It is the job of the judiciary to interpret law. Once a courageous federal judge affirms that private sleeping, bathing, and dressing areas a the right of every soldier, then it happen regardless of the cost.

The supreme court never permitted financial considerations to enter the desgregation debate. Can you imagine them allowing a locality to delay desegregation because there wasn't money for more school buses?

Whatever the price, it will certainly won't have much of an impact on the deficit.

Posted by: blasmaic | October 31, 2010 11:23 AM | Report abuse

Our current debt is 13.5 trillion, so to increase the national debt by 1%, new facilities for soldiers would need to cost $135 billion. That's pleny of money to build private sleeping, bathing, and dressing areas for each soldier. We just don't have a bold and courageous federal judge to decree it.

The recruits and soldiers would lose the benefit of awakening to the sound of drill sergeants banging on garbage cans in the morning, but everyone must make sacrifices. Serious though, that teamwork and trust borne of shared crisis will need to recreated in some other portion of the military trainig. Drill sergeants have never lacked for ways to recreate the stress of military combat in new recruits.

Posted by: blasmaic | October 31, 2010 3:59 PM | Report abuse

What is the origin of the Homoerotic Urge?

Surface observations, and conclusions based on them, while well-intentioned, go nowhere when trying to fathom the reason why an individual can be turned against his own God-Given identity.

Ask any normal male, and they will tell you, that the most powerful thing in their life is their attraction to women.

Sure, men can have an array of other interests, but when you are speaking about the one thing that moves them powerfully, it is their attraction to the opposite sex.

And so, we must ask, what in the world could possibly get in the way of what God intended to be the most powerful directive in the life of every male child?

There is only one answer to this. The force that derails the God-Given identity comes from the outside, and is associated with forces of evil which are intent on destroying what God has created.

This will be proven through sophisticated sensing technology in the not too distant future, that the source of the homoerotic urge has its origin in the black heart of the demonic forces, which reside on the astral plane. The homoerotic urge is broadcast into the astral body of the vulnerable soul, and if the individual acts on the urge, then they become hooked to the demonic controller, who will be able to tug that chain at will.

The soul becomes vulnerable to this manipulation when it neglects for too long, its responsibility to work with God our Father to build up a shield of light in the aura.

The only solution to this state of enslavement, which threatens the very life of the soul, is to seek the help of God. Freedom from enslavement to the forces of darkness, can only come through the Intercession of God.

However, the individual trapped in the homosexual lifestyle has another factor working against him. The connection between the astral body of the victim, and the astral body of the controlling demon causes the victims feeling world to be colored with the demons disdain and contempt towards God.

Just as the victim believes the homoerotic urge is a natural expression of the identity, so too does the victim believe that this feeling of disdain towards God represents an attribute of his own natural identity. But it is not true. These are both elements of the demonic manipulation.

I believe every individual who is trapped in the homosexual lifestyle knows this is true at some level. They can sense the characteristic of aggressiveness that is associated with every homoerotic urge. I think in some instances it comes upon them when they least expect it. And thus, every homoerotic urge comes with a sense of being manipulated. And they are also aware of the fact that they have an attitude towards God that is not positive. They should add these two factors together, and this will point to the origin of their problem.

Posted by: GoldenEagles | November 2, 2010 12:27 PM | Report abuse

Scenario: You are injured in a car accident in the DC area. The docs tell you that the only blood supply they have is from The Gay Men's Blood Bank That Disagrees With The FDA.
Do you allow them to give you that blood?

Posted by: robtjonz | November 4, 2010 7:52 PM | Report abuse

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